Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn On Mountain Stage The unofficial "first family of the banjo" combines powerful vocals and revolutionary techniques. Hear six songs from Fleck and Washburn, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Mountain Stage

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn On Mountain Stage

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/186440197/186439820" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn appear here on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Although Washburn and Fleck have been on the show several times with numerous projects over the years, this was their first appearance anywhere as a duo. The arrangement was a bit of a happy necessity: Partners in life as well as music, Fleck and Washburn were expecting their first child at the time this segment was recorded for broadcast. Washburn joked about the sensation of playing an open-back banjo while seven months pregnant: "It's like a helmet for your belly."

The unofficial first family of the banjo, the two are widely credited with revitalizing and revolutionizing the instrument — Fleck with the three-finger Scruggs style, and Washburn with the traditional clawhammer. A powerful vocalist, Washburn sings one of the duo's songs in Mandarin; she's become fluent in the language thanks to her longtime involvement in Chinese cultural and social issues.

Set List

  • "City Of Refuge"
  • "Am I Born To Die?"
  • "The Love Song Of Kanding"
  • "Movement Two Banjo Concerto Excerpt"
  • "Sally In The Garden / Palmyra Red / Molly Put The Kettle On"
  • "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"
[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

The North Mississippi Allstars On 'Mountain Stage'

The modern day torchbearers of Mississippi blues make their third appearance on Mountain Stage and play songs from their latest release, Prayer For Peace.

The North Mississippi Allstars On 'Mountain Stage'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/570652598/570654482" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Seth Glier On Mountain Stage

In his second appearance on Mountain Stage, the folk artist's otherworldly voice is accompanied by various percussion instruments and rich, layered harmonies.

Seth Glier On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/568540896/568554187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Dan Wilson On Mountain Stage

The songwriter and producer performs some of his famous collaborations, including Adele's "Someone Like You" and The Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready To Make Nice."

Dan Wilson On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562554003/562786908" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Andrew Combs On Mountain Stage

Hear the Nashville-based songwriter perform songs from his recent release Canyons Of My Mind during his first appearance on Mountain Stage.

Andrew Combs On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561213371/561342737" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sherman Holmes on Mountain Stage Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Sherman Holmes On Mountain Stage

Hear the revered blues musician play songs from his solo debut on the 900th episode of Mountain Stage.

Sherman Holmes On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/553694060/553700931" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top